April 21st, 2008
04:44 PM ET
10 years ago

Obama avoids media in final days of PA

BLUE BELL, Pennsylvania (CNN) – It's now been ten days since Democrat Barack Obama has made himself available for questions from his traveling press corps, and it appears as though that number could rise even higher.

Aides have said it's unlikely he’ll hold an availability with reporters before Tuesday's Pennsylvania primary, but that they "could always add one." Given their track record over the past few days, however, that doesn't sound promising.

Since the start of the weekend, the possibility of a press conference has been dangled in front of reporters twice—only to be snatched away at the last possible moment.

On Saturday, reporters were teased for the majority of the day with a possible evening avail, only to be told at the eleventh hour that it would not be happening. To make it up, staffers said they were aiming to put him in front of cameras on Sunday but that, too, did not happen.

And at a diner Thursday morning, a reporter slipped in a question about former President Jimmy Carter's meeting with Hamas, but Obama responded by saying he just wanted to eat his waffle. Later that afternoon while taping an interview for "The Daily Show," a reporter tried to ask Obama about a new Clinton ad and the Obama ad that came as a response. According to a pooled report, the White House hopeful asked the reporter if she was "supposed to be" asking a question then. He added that he would consider answering but that it would depend "on how well behaved you are." In the end, he did not take the question.

Traveling press secretary Jen Psaki declined to comment on exactly why no time has been allotted for traveling press questions since a press conference in Indianapolis April 11. Obama did, however, make time Thursday for a few one on one interviews.

Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama
soundoff (299 Responses)
  1. dar

    Obama people, seriously, one Obama against all of the experienced in Washington. Also, Obama considered more liberal than even Hillary. Do you seriously think Obama can change around 200 years of running the government. He is without much experience. He is likeable. He talks of change, but he hasn't even made a sound about change until he ran for office. You can't say Hillary hasn't voiced her opposition to the Iraq War after the initial support. You can't say Hillary doesn't know how way around Washington. You can't say Hillary hasn't more experience and people who have fixed the economy than Obama. These are perilous times. We need expertise, knowledge, and a history of networking. Please consider your vote in Pennsylvania. Our country needs reflective thought.

    April 21, 2008 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  2. Sue

    As it gets down to the wire in Pennsylvania, Senator Obama needs all the time he has to connect with voters, not the media.

    April 21, 2008 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  3. Cindy

    I think maybe... he's just too booked these days. He opened up time for Colbert even after he first told him no... even if it was via satellite. Don't worry Press people, he'll make time for you.

    April 21, 2008 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  4. Heidi

    Why should he? Have you all looked at the supposedly unbiased CNN network's ad for tonight's 1 hr. special of Larry King Live featuring Hillary? She looks like she is receiving guidance from "above."
    Come on. It is such a sham! A waste of time for Obama. He is much better off talking to individual voters, not the media any more. It is their bread and butter to create an uproar, they are not interested in solving the huge problems this country is facing and certainly not in any honest debate.

    April 21, 2008 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  5. K.Celina IL for Hillary

    Obama chose to be one of the candidate !!!!!!
    Now he is afraid of media ?????
    Then in the OVAL Office more problems will come, then he will walk away !!!!!!
    Americans wake up !!!!!!
    Lazy in his High School time (farmer fired Obama, becouse lazy attidite)
    Lazy, not well orginized in his office, needed somone to help him, he admited.
    POOR AMERICA, if he will win. I hope that People will make a good choice, but NOT OBAMA !!!!!!!!

    April 21, 2008 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  6. L.R. SIMMS

    I guess Senator Obama is taking Senator Clinton's adivse. "If you can't stand the heat then you should get out the kitchen" a.k.a. The Democrate Race for President.

    The writing is on the wall it is just a matter of time before we really seen the man behind the mask.

    Go Hillary! Double digit win for her in Pennslyavania on Tuesday.

    April 21, 2008 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  7. California Girl

    He's playing it safe; he knows Hillary's winning.

    HILLARY 08

    April 21, 2008 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  8. jd

    Good Obama concentrate on POLICY! KEEP CAMPAIGNING, let Billary Bitterness do the hype.

    April 21, 2008 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  9. JJ The Truthteller

    All the better, lately the media seems to only be concerned with framing a huge and bitter personal tabloid-style fight between the candidates rather than focusing on what matters. In fact, their spins and deceptions are almost Hillaryesque.

    April 21, 2008 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  10. Joe from Virginia

    Tom, des moines – you should be ashamed of yourself. At least Obama is running a superb campaign. None that the other candidates are running. You are just as wise and smart as Bush. No wonder we are in this health care and economic mess. That was a statement that is clearly coming from a simple minded person.

    April 21, 2008 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  11. Victor in NC

    I'm sure he is tired of talking, just like Billary..

    How much more question can 3 people answer..

    Its a matter of relaxing a little bit. That is the same with Hillary..
    I know they are both very tired.

    The media has a fresh face covering the news everyday.

    Give them all a break for atleast one day.. Goodness..

    April 21, 2008 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  12. LP

    That's a very smart thing to do! The media tends to look for reality Tv apporch these days. I just paid $4.05 per gallon to fill up this morning!In the last debate ABC news spent so much time on silly things that the price of gas question was only allowed a thirty second response.
    This is not a JOKE people nor is it about ratings! We are in a recession!

    Obama 08

    April 21, 2008 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  13. bernice

    Way to go Obama. Keep speaking to the people not media idiots. Obama 2008

    April 21, 2008 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  14. bernice

    Way to go Obama. Keep speaking to the people not media idiots. Obama 2008

    April 21, 2008 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  15. Debby

    Great I am sick of seeing Obama's mug everywhere.

    April 21, 2008 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  16. annie

    Obama is running scared of the press, but if he beats Hillary he had better me more scared of the Republican party. I bet they are just waiting to open Obama's closet door and there are way too many skeletons in there. But then it will be too late, we will have another 4 years of the Bush mayhem.

    April 21, 2008 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  17. Steve

    That's a nice thought, but it's probably because he doesn't want to lose any more votes by accidentally saying what he really thinks. Funny that a man who campaigns on so called "positive" rhetoric for change has been so negative toward his opponent lately. Hmmmm...

    April 21, 2008 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  18. Interesting


    Chlesea is not asking to be President. Obama is. He calls this Judgment to lead? My goodness. Press is the press. He just can't handle the heat. Sounds elitist to me. I guess he wants to go back to San Francisco where he feels more comfortable in CLOSE DOOR MEETINGS.

    April 21, 2008 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  19. typical honkey

    He must campaign don't you know... he can't answer hard questions and RISK losing it all with his ineptness. Oh, poor little Obami Baby...
    NEVER will you be president. You are the one who acts deserving of it, not Hillary.

    April 21, 2008 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  20. Steve

    That's a nice thought, but it's probably because Obama doesn't want to lose any more votes by accidentally saying what he really thinks. It's interesting how man who has campaigned upon so-called "positive" rhetoric for change has engaged in so much negative mud-slinging toward his opponent. HMMMMMM.....

    April 21, 2008 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  21. Noah

    I can't believe Obama supporters could really believe that the media distorts his words( they are his). This man has been given the easiest ride to the White House than any politician in history. Someone called the media new lynch mob, well if your Hillary you might feel that way. The media has been against her from day one. Sad thing is, if you actually listen to HER, you would see a whole differant story. The media loves Obama. They have failed to do their jobs. The American press should be ashamed. Why can we not ask Obama about his connections, his voting record, his negative campaign, Mind you one question the press would ask is while Obama was on the trail this weekend talking about Hillary being negative, his camp was on the phone trying to stir up Bosnia again, after he said Wednesday we should drop it. Obama is a fraud, he says one thing, but does another. He might win, but I think a lot of people will regret that vote a year from now.

    April 21, 2008 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  22. Kim

    I don't blame Obama in the least. They were all over the Wright issue and the Farrakhan endorsement but not a peep about Ed Rendell praising Farrakhan. Should Hillary denounce Rendell? F the media

    April 21, 2008 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  23. Greg

    what is a WHIMP?

    Is that someone that is fed up with b.s. issues aimed at creating the illusion of issues or problems when there are not any?

    April 21, 2008 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  24. DWC

    Bet I know what he says about small town Americans if he loses PA by a large margin....in private of course.

    April 21, 2008 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  25. Interesting

    I think compliment McCain to be better than Bush is rattling him. Also, Hamas just said no to Carter's show to make himself important AGAIN by stating they will have peace with Israel.

    All a bunch of SIKE job to me from Obama, Carter, etc...

    April 21, 2008 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
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